September 2, 2009 Subject:
The Contra Code Song
At least, that's how I first knew this song. I didn't know the title... I'd heard it in an arcade and thought to myself "Hmmm... Quirky.". I did eventually take a wander over to where the shouts of "Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, select, start" were coming from to discover it was a Konami dancing game. At that point, I speculated the song was no more than a special creation for that particular machine and didn't think much more about it.
My relationship with music, however, is not that simple. For days the chant was stuck in my head and the only way to appease my brain was to find out the name of that song proper. A quick internet search for the dance game revealed a title that MUST be the song - "30 Lives" - the pay-off for entering the Contra Code. The band; I'd never heard of, but it was listed as a licenced song so I searched for them, too. And that's how I came to see this music video.
The song is extremely catchy and the chrous especially sticks in your head after one or two times of watching. The video has a bit of a 60's feel with the members of The Motion Sick forming a 'Grease'-style group and front-man, Mark Epstein, has fantastic sideburns / mutton chops!
Also, the expression on his face (or lack, thereof) provides both an insight into his pining over Susie (played by Susan Youtt, according to the credits) and also a slightly comical effect with such a dead-pan expression. The dance moves, whilst incredibly simple, come together well with everyone dancing on an American Football field, and the 'strutt' that appears several times throughout in what feels like a small tribute to 'The Monkees'.
Overall, the shooting and editing of the video match the music well and if it wasn't for the interesting inclusion of that Contra Code, I'd probably never have discovered this excellent video which is now playing on a loop as I write this. Just this one song from a Boston-based indie band has made me recognise their music. This track wouldn't go out-of-place in the Top 40 charts in the UK (my home country) and there are even people in China (where I'm now living) who regularly select this song at the arcade. So, my only question is: When will someone give this band the chance to go international? They're already known throughout the world and any record label or manager should see that potential... Surely?